Trainee teachers' perception of their knowledge about expert teaching
The current global movement in the reform of education seems to focus on a number of issues that include standards, quality and teacher preparation. With regard to the latter, while teacher education curricula in most parts of the world attempt to strike a balance between content and professional training, the emerging scenario is that of training expert teachers. Three types of knowledge identified as necessary for expert teaching are content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. For Hong Kong to embark on a satisfactory and effective public education reform, it is essential that its most valuable human resource (i.e. teachers) must be comprehensively and adequately developed. Attention must be paid to both pre-service and in-service to raise an excellent quality-oriented teaching force. Teacher educators and researchers make important and well-informed decisions about what should be included in pre-service and in-service teacher development programmes. However, it is also important to take into account the teachers' own perceptions about the areas in which they feel confident and knowledgeable and those inwhich they do not. One practical avenue of sourcing such information is the teacher in training who is learning to acquire and display expertise. This paper reports on an investigation using a sample of 183 science and mathematics trainee teachers. A 60-item instrument, the Science and Mathematics Expert Teacher Preparation Survey (SMETPS),was developed to gather data on trainee teachers' perceptions of their current knowledge and what they think they need to know to become expert teachers. The data, analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics, indicated some of the areas in which trainee teachers identified the need for future professional development that would contribute towards expert training. Several issues which emerged from the results are discussed, with reference to implications for current efforts in expert teacher training.